Monday, October 23, 2017

Leo's Gift

I know it's early to be talking about Christmas but let's face it- it sneaks up on us every year and we need to be prepared.

A few years ago my parents gifted my children with music instruments and lessons as a gift. Very generous, of course, and it mostly came out of guilt of not being able to do that for my brother and I when we were younger. I really wanted to learn how to play piano, and I wanted to be in band at school, but our family budget didn't allow for that so I didn't get to do it. Fast forward until now and my son is learning drums and my daughter gave up guitar and is now onto flute in the middle school band! I mention this because if you are considering a first instrument as a gift, or you have a child who seems interested in music, this is a GREAT book for them!

An intensely shy six-year-old boy overcomes his self-doubt to discover that he has a beautiful gift to share with the world—just in time for Christmas!

Not necessarily a quick bedtime read, this story has more to it. We meet Leo, a shy little guy who watches his older sister Meredith during her piano lessons. Meredith would much rather be playing outside than practicing piano, but Leo asks her about playing. She gives him the first keys and from there his love of music blossoms. As it turns out, Leo has a natural musical talent that may never have been discovered if he hadn't been given the opportunity!

It makes you wonder about some children in your life, do you have an aspiring Mozart in your home?

While Leo is waiting for his sister to finish at basketball practice, Leo finds a piano in the music room and begins to play. He's met by the music teacher and they forge a friendship as Leo discovers not only his natural ability but his love of music in general. He discovers his gift at a Christmas recital, and we have a happy ending.

It's an adorable book that even my 9 year old liked! My 12 year old wasn't as interested, but she's a moody tween so what can you do? Jackson maybe liked it better because he is really in love with learning how to play drums and he takes it pretty seriously, he reminds me a lot of Leo.

Again, a really adorable book with great illustrations and a great message. Not surprising because one of the authors, Susan Blackaby, is already an acclaimed children's author and the co-author, Joellyn Ciccarelli was formerly an editor for Mr. Roger's Neighborhood, which is one of the best children's programs ever made. Hands down.

I think this would make such a great gift for a budding musician in your life. Music is proven to enrich education across the disciplines and can bring so much joy for a child, let's encourage that.

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